Canada Announces Support to Improve Food Security and Nutrition in Southeast Asia Region
Minister Paradis reaffirms Canada’s leadership and commitment to strong partnerships between public and private sectors to improve lives of world’s most vulnerable people
Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, outlined Canada’s commitment to support the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s newest regional platform, Grow Asia, a partnership developed in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat. Grow Asia is part of WEF’s Global Challenge on Food Security and Agriculture, of which Canada is a founding partner.
Canada will provide $6 million over three years to WEF’s Global Challenge on Food Security and Agriculture and Grow Asia. Grow Asia aims to engage the private sector and identify opportunities for collaboration to increase food security and agricultural growth in the ASEAN region.
“Asia is a region of importance to Canada,” said Minister Paradis. “As a Pacific nation, strengthening Canada’s ties with ASEAN is consistent with our continued efforts to support and engage the Asia-Pacific region and a key part of Canada’s international priorities.
“Canada is proud of its continued leadership on food security and nutrition and commitment to new and cutting-edge agriculture partnerships, such as Grow Asia, which are critical to meeting our common goal of alleviating hunger and malnutrition, and building the foundations for sustained growth and prosperity. This is why Canada is committed to deepening and broadening our engagement with a wide range of partners, including the private sector, and will continue to explore new partnership opportunities to address complex international development challenges.”
“Food security is one of the key non-traditional security threats ASEAN countries must address as they move into the 21st century and beyond,” said Stewart Beck, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. “Canada, with its expansive supply base and long-standing expertise in research and innovation in the agri-food sector, is well positioned to partner with stakeholders in the region. Grow Asia provides the ideal platform for deepening this engagement.”
Canada’s support to the Grow Asia partnership will improve the lives of, and opportunities for, the region’s most vulnerable people, including women and children. Strengthening economic ties with ASEAN and opening new markets for Canadian exporters is also part of the Government of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.
- The ASEAN region is Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner. Canada is one of the top 10 agri-food suppliers to ASEAN, with exports growing from about $400 million in 2003 to $1.25 billion in 2013.
- Canada’s development assistance has helped Vietnam move toward a modernized food quality and safety system, opening up new opportunities for small businesses and smallholder farmers.
- Canada supports the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, a unique multi-donor trust fund and partnership among developing countries, development partners, civil society and the private sector, which has proven to be key in finding innovative financing methods for smallholder farmers and small and medium-sized agribusiness firms.
- On May 29, 2014, at the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced an additional commitment of $3.5 billion for the period 2015 to 2020 for maternal, newborn and child health. At the summit, the Prime Minister set out a strategy to effectively reduce maternal and child deaths with an emphasis on strengthening health systems, improving nutrition and reducing the burden of leading diseases, as well as a commitment to supporting Canadian partners’ important work in advancing this global priority.